Central Kids Kindergartens - Thames

Education institution number:
5162
Service type:
Free Kindergarten
Definition:
Not Applicable
Total roll:
25
Telephone:
Address:

Grey Street, Thames

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Central Kids Kindergartens - Thames - 10/10/2016

1 Evaluation of Central Kids Kindergartens - Thames

How well placed is Central Kids Kindergartens - Thames to promote positive learning outcomes for children?

Not well placed

Requires further development

Well placed

Very well placed

ERO's findings that support this overall judgement are summarised below.

Background

Central Kids Kindergartens - Thames operates under the umbrella of the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (CNIKT). The kindergarten is licensed to cater for 40 children from two years to school age. At the time of this ERO review, a high percentage of children enrolled identified as Māori. The kindergarten is open from 8.45am to 2.45pm, five days a week.

The kindergarten philosophy places priority on building reciprocal and trusting relationships with children, parents and whānau. Teachers aim to support children to develop skills for peaceful conflict resolution, negotiation and problem solving. There is a commitment to develop a deeper understanding of te Ao Māori.

Since the 2013 ERO review one new teacher has been appointed. There have been considerable developments in all the areas of self review identified for improvement in the 2013 ERO report. The centre has a positive ERO reporting history.

The kindergarten is well supported by the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust. The trust’s strategic direction sets out the service’s vision, expected educational outcomes and values. It also defines the strategies for delivering the principles and strands of the early childhood curriculum, Te Whāriki, and for respecting Te Tiriti o Waitangi. The trust works positively to provide equitable opportunities to families by extending its hours of opening.

Professional leaders monitor the kindergarten’s compliance with policies and procedures to ensure it meets regulation requirements and management expectations. They work alongside head teachers to support their leadership and provide guidance, and mentor teachers as part of the appraisal process. Kindergarten teachers have many opportunities to attend professional development opportunities to grow their teaching and leadership skills.

The trust has undertaken a long-term review of teacher appraisal in consultation with teachers. This is enabling them to respond to the expectations of the Education Council and increase the depth of teachers’ reflections about their practice. The trust has also responded effectively to the Vulnerable Children’s Act, and is well-placed to complete required changes to policies and practices for the protection of children.

This review was part of a cluster of four reviews in the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust.

The Review Findings

Central Kids Kindergarten - Thames is very well placed to sustain positive outcomes for children and their families.

The head teacher and teachers work in partnership with parents, whānau and external expertise in the local community to advocate for and ensure inclusive and equitable outcomes for all children. Relationships at all levels are based on mutual trust and respect. Children, their parents and whānau, and staff, have a strong sense of belonging within the kindergarten community. Māori are acknowledged as tangata whenua and a culture has been created that respectfully validates te ao Māori practices.

Children's wellbeing is a major priority for teachers and an essential foundation to support learning. Everyone's knowledge of the child is valued and children are viewed within the context of their family backgrounds. Teachers work in partnership with all parents so they can respond effectively to children's individual social, cultural and life experiences to make learning relevant and authentic.

The kindergarten's philosophy for teaching and learning is strongly evident in practice. Teachers are highly skilled at responding to and intentionally coaching children's social and emotional competencies, and lifelong learning dispositions. They use a wide range of strategies to affirm and support children to achieve success in learning and to feel capable and confident.

Children benefit from an environment that encourages open-ended exploration through play. They are able to think critically, wonder, be creative and use their imagination through their interactions with people and the environment. Concepts of ako, where everyone is a learner and a teacher, are interwoven into the daily programme and involve children, staff and whānau in meaningful contexts, responding to children's interests, strengths and needs.

A strength of the centre is the additional assistance provided to children with learning priorities. Leaders and teachers work hard to remove barriers to children's participation in the kindergarten. With the support of competent teacher aides, they ensure children's full engagement in all aspects of the programme. Priority learners are progressing well, and achieving success as confident and capable learners.

Children's transitions into and out of the kindergarten are managed sensitively and in partnership with parents and whānau. Teachers' focus on building social competencies, learning dispositions and self-care skills effectively assists children's transition to school.

Teachers skilfully integrate bicultural practices, literacy, mathematics, and other learning experiences naturally into the programme, through child-initiated play. Children's learning is enriched through the kindergarten's Ngahere programme where ten children, one day a week, explore a local bush area with teachers and whānau. Children learn about bush craft and environmental awareness, building their sense of responsibility and guardianship (kaitiakitanga) for earth (Papatuanuku).

Parents feel very welcome and enjoy spending time playing and interacting with children, and helping teachers. Well-presented portfolios, informal conversations and displays keep them well informed about children's interests and learning. Individual assessments build a clear picture of progress and achievement, with links to peers, home and the environment. Children have ready access to their learning stories. The recent introduction of electronic portfolios is encouraging increased feedback from parents and whānau.

The head teacher and teachers are well supported by the CNIKT professional leader. They are committed to ongoing learning for all. They have established practices to review and develop aspects of teaching and learning, with a focus on positive outcomes for children and their families. Teachers make effective use of one another's knowledge, skills and expertise. Highly developed self-review processes are leading to continual improvement in outcomes for children and their families.

Key Next Step

A next step for the kindergarten is to continue to strengthen the self-review evidence to support teachers' evaluation of the effectiveness of their teaching and learning practice.

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Central Kids Kindergartens - Thames completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)

  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)

  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)

  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

Next ERO Review

When is ERO likely to review the service again?

The next ERO review of Central Kids Kindergartens - Thames will be in four years.

Lynda Pura-Watson

Deputy Chief Review Officer

10 October 2016

The Purpose of ERO Reports

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the government department that, as part of its work, reviews early childhood services throughout Aotearoa New Zealand. ERO’s reports provide information for parents and communities about each service’s strengths and next steps for development. ERO’s bicultural evaluation framework Ngā Pou Here is described in SECTION 3 of this report. Early childhood services are partners in the review process and are expected to make use of the review findings to enhance children's wellbeing and learning.

2 Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Thames

Ministry of Education profile number

5162

Licence type

Free Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

40children, aged over 2

Service roll

54

Gender composition

Boys 29 Girls 25

Ethnic composition

Māori

Pākehā

Pacific

South East Asian

Other

21

20

7

5

1

Percentage of qualified teachers

0-49% 50-79% 80%+

Based on funding rates

80% +

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

June 2016

Date of this report

10 October 2016

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

May 2013

Education Review

August 2010

Education Review

December 2006

3 General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

ERO’s Evaluation Framework

ERO’s overarching question for an early childhood education review is ‘How well placed is this service to promote positive learning outcomes for children?’ ERO focuses on the following factors as described in the bicultural framework Ngā Pou Here:

Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children

Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children

Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children

Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of arotake – self review and of whanaungatanga – partnerships with parents and whānau.

ERO evaluates how well placed a service is to sustain good practice and make ongoing improvements for the benefit of all children at the service.

A focus for the government is that all children, especially priority learners, have an opportunity to benefit from quality early childhood education. ERO will report on how well each service promotes positive outcomes for all children, with a focus on children who are Māori, Pacific, have diverse needs, and are up to the age of two.

For more information about the framework and Ngā Pou Here refer to ERO’s Approach to Review in Early Childhood Services.

ERO’s Overall Judgement and Next Review

The overall judgement that ERO makes and the timing of the next review will depend on how well placed a service is to promote positive learning outcomes for children. The categories are:

  • Very well placed – The next ERO review in four years
  • Well placed – The next ERO review in three years
  • Requires further development – The next ERO review within two years
  • Not well placed - The next ERO review in consultation with the Ministry of Education

ERO has developed criteria for each category. These are available on ERO’s website.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews are tailored to each service’s context and performance, within the overarching review framework. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.

Central Kids Kindergartens - Thames - 14/05/2013

1 Evaluation of the Service

How well placed is the service to promote positive outcomes for children?

Central Kids Kindergartens - Thames is well placed to promote positive outcomes for children.

Context

Central Kids Kindergartens - Thames provides education for families in the local community and surrounding rural areas. It provides education and care for up to 40 children over two years of age. It is open Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday from 8.45 a.m. until 2.45 p.m., and on Wednesday 8.45 a.m. until 1.00 p.m. Most children are of Māori and Pākehā descent children, with a smaller number of children from other cultures making up the roll.

The kindergarten operates under the umbrella organisation, Central North Island Kindergarten Trust (the Trust), previously known as the Central North Island Kindergarten Association. The Trust provides the kindergarten with a clear philosophy, vision, expectations for practice and strategic direction. A knowledgeable and experienced professional leader from the Trust oversees the quality of the service and supports staff professional practice.

The kindergarten’s philosophy emphasis is to develop positive relationships with links to the local and natural environments, including respect for papatunuku (mother earth). The kindergarten is situated next to a local primary school and continues strong connections and involvement with the school.

The staff have engaged in a good range of professional development about aspects of current theory and practice in early childhood education. The head teacher continues to strengthen her knowledge and practice in leadership.

This review was conducted as part of a cluster approach to reviews in eleven early childhood education services within the Central North Island Kindergarten Trust umbrella organisation.

Review Findings

A continuing strength of the kindergarten is the positive and trusting relationships among teachers and families. Many families have historical links with the kindergarten and comment on the welcoming environment that teachers have maintained. Families feel comfortable to participate and enthusiastically join in kindergarten outings and social events. Children benefit from the high level of family involvement encouraged by teachers.

Emphasis is placed on fostering children’s sense of belonging and wellbeing. Children are well cared for, and supported to develop their confidence, self esteem and independence. Teachers foster good links between the home and kindergarten. They ensure that each child is included and supported to participate positively in the programme.

As a result of professional development teachers continually adapt the environment to better support children’s learning. Furniture and resources reflect those found in the home and encourage sustained learning through social and imaginative play. The environment offers a wide range of options that appeal to children’s different ages, interests and strengths.

Since the previous ERO review teachers have focused on developing environmental and sustainable practices. These include recycling, planting, gardening and daily baking using produce grown by children. Animals play an important role in the programme, providing opportunities for children to care for and take responsibility for their wellbeing. Children are acquiring early science concepts, appreciation and respect for the local environment.

Teachers have strong links with the neighbouring school, which are maintained through regular visits and involvement in school events. These practices support children when they move on to school. A feature of this kindergarten is its commitment to providing and funding outings to places beyond the local community that children and families might not otherwise experience.

ERO observed variable teaching practices. While there are some key next steps related to teaching and learning practice, ERO did identify teachers using the following effective practices:

  • using specific feedback to encourage children’s communication and negotiation skills, and supporting children to take increased responsibility for their own behaviour
  • skilfully integrating literacy and mathematics in their conversations with children
  • using te reo Māori naturally to build children’s appreciation and use of Māori as a living language
  • having sustained learning conversations that extend children’s thinking and help them to achieve their goals
  • making use of incidental opportunities to support children’s learning.

The leadership of the head teacher has been important in developing a positive team culture and commitment to professional learning. The team is well positioned to now strengthen its focus on the quality of teaching and learning.

Key Next Steps

ERO and teachers agree the key next steps for the kindergarten’s development are to:

  • strengthen self review to better enable teachers to evaluate the effectiveness of changes they have made, and the impact the change has had on children’s learning
  • develop a shared understanding of effective teaching practices and ensure that these practices are consistently implemented
  • more clearly identify and analyse children’s learning and interests, and use this information to plan for ways to extend learning
  • make the programme more visible in the environment to better communicate children’s interests and learning to parents.

2 Legal Requirements

Management Assurance on Legal Requirements

Before the review, the staff and management of Central Kids Kindergartens - Thames completed an ERO Centre Assurance Statement and Self-Audit Checklist. In these documents they attested that they have taken all reasonable steps to meet their legal obligations related to:

  • curriculum
  • premises and facilities
  • health and safety practices
  • governance, management and administration.

During the review, ERO looked at the service’s systems for managing the following areas that have a potentially high impact on children's wellbeing:

  • emotional safety (including positive guidance and child protection)
  • physical safety (including supervision; sleep procedures; accidents; medication; hygiene; excursion policies and procedures)
  • suitable staffing (including qualification levels; police vetting; teacher registration; ratios)
  • evacuation procedures and practices for fire and earthquake.

All early childhood services are required to promote children's health and safety and to regularly review their compliance with legal requirements.

3 Next Review

When is ERO likely to review the early childhood service again?

ERO is likely to carry out the next review in three years.

Dale Bailey

National Manager Review Services

Northern Region

14 May 2013

Information about the Early Childhood Service

Location

Thames

Ministry of Education profile number

5162

Licence type

Kindergarten

Licensed under

Education (Early Childhood Services) Regulations 2008

Number licensed for

44 children, including up to 0 aged under 2

Service roll

50

Gender composition

Girls 26

Boys 24

Ethnic composition

Māori

NZ European/Pākehā

Other European

Other

26

16

5

3

Percentage of qualified teachers

80%

Reported ratios of staff to children

Over 2

1:10

Meets minimum requirements

Review team on site

March 2013

Date of this report

14 May 2013

Most recent ERO report(s)

Education Review

Education Review

Education Review

August 2010

December 2006

September 2003

General Information about Early Childhood Reviews

About ERO Reviews

The Education Review Office (ERO) is the New Zealand government department that reviews schools and early childhood services throughout New Zealand.

Review focus

ERO's education reviews in early childhood services focus on the factors that contribute to positive learning outcomes for children. ERO evaluates how well placed the service is to make and sustain improvements for the benefit of all children at the service. To reach these findings ERO considers:

  • Pou Whakahaere – how the service determines its vision, philosophy and direction to ensure positive outcomes for children
  • Pou Ārahi – how leadership is enacted to enhance positive outcomes for children
  • Mātauranga – whose knowledge is valued and how the curriculum is designed to achieve positive outcomes for children
  • Tikanga whakaako – how approaches to teaching and learning respond to diversity and support positive outcomes for children.

Within these areas ERO considers the effectiveness of self review and partnerships with parents and whānau.

Review Coverage

ERO reviews do not cover every aspect of service performance and each ERO report may cover different issues. The aim is to provide information on aspects that are central to positive outcomes for children and useful to the service.